Isaiah 31:3

3 But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, those who help will stumble, those who are helped will fall; all will perish together.

Read Isaiah 31:3 Using Other Translations

Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.
The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.
For these Egyptians are mere humans, not God! Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits! When the LORD raises his fist against them, those who help will stumble, and those being helped will fall. They will all fall down and die together.

What does Isaiah 31:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 31:3

Now the Egyptians [are] men, and not God
Be it that they are mighty, they are not mighty, as God is; and indeed they are but frail, feeble, mortal, and mutable men, and therefore not to be trusted in, and depended on; or to be put upon an equality with God, and even to be preferred to him, as they were by the Jews; and of what use and service could they be unto them, seeing God was against them?

and their horses flesh, and not spirit;
only flesh, without an immortal soul or spirit, which man has; and therefore a foolish thing in man to trust in them, who must be entirely guided and directed by them; and much less angelic spirits, or like them, which are incorporeal, invisible, and exceedingly mighty and powerful, which excel all creatures in strength, and are called the mighty angels; these are God's cavalry, his horses and chariots; see ( Psalms 68:17 ) ( Habakkuk 3:8 Habakkuk 3:15 ) and what mighty things have been done by them, even by a single one? Witness the destruction of the Assyrian army, in one night, by one of them; wherefore the Egyptian cavalry was not to be named with them F17:

When the Lord shall stretch out his hand;
as soon as he does it, before he strikes, and when he does this in order to it:

both he that helpeth shall fall;
or "stumble", take a false step; meaning the Egyptians, sent for and come forth to help the Jews; but, stumbling and falling themselves, would be but poor assistants to them. Aben Ezra interprets this of the king of Assyria destroying the Egyptians, when he came to Jerusalem:

and he that is holpen shall fall down;
the Jews, helped by the Egyptians, who should fall, and be destroyed, though not now; yet hereafter by the Chaldeans, as they were:

and they all shall fail together;
both the Egyptians and the Jews.


FOOTNOTES:

F17 So Ben Melech interprets "spirit" of an angel, as he does the word "God" in the preceding clause.
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